Angle grinders are best known for their effectiveness when it comes to construction and metalworking. However, a lesser-known fact is that they can be particularly useful when it comes to woodworking as well.
These tools are not only useful for carving wood but can also shape and sand the wood as well. They are a highly reliable tool when it comes to scooping out a lot of wood and shape your project in its final stages.
However, when it comes to using angle grinders for wood, it is essential to remember that the right attachments are key.
Unlike with metalworking, it is not recommended that you use a traditional metal cutting disc on wood. This is because wood is a highly combustible material. When combined with the sparks from the metal disc that is moving at high speeds, it can be dangerous.
Instead, there are specialty discs available for woodcarving. Choosing the correct disc is vital when it comes to working with wood. You will need to consider a variety of factors before making a choice. This includes the grit of the disc and the type of cuts that it can make on wood.
Types of Angle Grinder Discs
There are three main types of angle grinder discs that are used during a woodworking project:
These are usually used after you finish shaping the wood. They serve as a way of sanding down the wood with an angle grinder. They are, essentially, small pieces of sandpaper that are attached to a backing disc. These can, in turn, be connected to an angle grinder.
Like with whetstones, the most effective way to use these is to start with a high grit option. You can then work your way down to a lower, finer grit to remove any leftover scratches.
Abrasive Carving Discs
A great way to shape pristine wood, these discs essentially “scratch” the material away instead of cutting them. They work against the grain on the wood by using conical, carbide teeth.
The teeth on these discs also allow them to give users good control and make them effective at removing material from the wood’s surface. They make a good choice for precision-work while woodworking.
Usually made of sharpened steel or alloy, these discs have teeth that resemble chainsaw wheels. Unlike abrasive discs, these cut away at the wood while shaping it.
These are amongst the most aggressive of angle grinders discs. This aggressiveness allows them to be used to work even the thickest of woods with ease or remove a lot of material from the wood’s surface. However, they are also amongst the most dangerous angle grinder attachments for woodworking.
Best Angle Grinder Discs and Wheels
There are a variety of abrasive discs and carving wheels on offer in the market. Here are some of the best powers carving disc tools available for use with angle grinders to get you started on your own woodworking projects.
1. Kutzall Extreme Shaping Disc – Medium Grit
With free-cutting teeth made of tungsten carbide arranged regularly on the disc, this tool is one of the most popular options available in the market. It is compatible with most popular angle grinders, including the Makita, Black & Decker, Hitachi, Dewalt, and more.
This tool doesn’t slice or shear the surface of the wood – instead, it abrades it. This means that not only does this tool produce more sawdust, the sawdust is also very fine, and can clog up the disc. It is recommended that you use a torch and burn out the dust from the grit to unclog it.
One of the user-friendliest discs available on the market, it does a good job at scooping out material. You can get it in a variety of grits, with a coarser grit being for faster performance. It creates a great cut quality in terms of the smoothness of the cut line.
It should be noted that because this disc abrades the surface, the surface is left a little rougher than with some other disc options, and in need of some sanding. This means that if you’re looking for finesse and surface detailing, you will need to follow up with another disc after using this one. The quantity of sawdust produced also means that wearing a mask for protection is necessary.
However, its performance at scooping out wood during a woodworking project, as well as the fact that it is a very well built tool, means that it remains the top choice on the market.
2. Lancelot 14 Tooth Carving Disc
Another popular carving disc for wood, this is made out of stainless steel and fits most standard 4 ½”, 115mm, and 125mm angle grinders.
It is manufactured in a chainsaw pattern, allowing it to easily remove a lot of wood when you use it. It also works fast, allowing lots of quick concave and convex cuts. The chainsaw design means that you are essentially using the disc as a chainsaw when making edge cuts, allowing for ease of cutting.
However, the finish on the wood after using the Lancelot is very rough. The design is meant to give you high performance, but the cut quality is poor. This means that you will need to sand down the wood. It also does not cut very deep into the wood.
The chain of this disc can be sharpened, as with a regular chainsaw. One of the critical issues with this tool is the safety. As it is easy to hurt yourself with this disc, especially, it is recommended that you strictly follow safety procedures and wear a face-shield and gloves. Beginners should be particularly careful.
3. AxPower Six Teeth Wood Carving Disc
This planer-like disc is made out of tungsten steel and features six carbide teeth welded onto the blade. It is compatible with 16 mm (5/8”) angle grinders. The affordable nature of this disc, combined with the planning style, makes it a popular choice, especially if you are on a budget.
It does well on concave and convex cuts. However, it should be noted that the teeth do not reach the edge of the blade. This means that it can’t create edge cuts the way that other discs do.
This tool is also a good choice if you’re looking to scoop out a lot of material quickly. It is also easy to control, making it a practical choice for beginners.
However, the carbide blades protrude from the body to a high amount, which could be a safety issue if not used carefully. Moreover, it is difficult to fit on to standard grinders.
4. ArborTech TURBO Plane
This universal shaping blade is a more expensive option but also serves as a professional-grade tool. With a more controlled nature when used, it is not only a compelling choice for hobbyists; it’s also useful for professional woodcarvers.
This disc has three flat blades like planers. The blades can be sharpened, and allow great fine control when carving wood. This disc is a good option for scooping out a lot of wood.
It’s effective at both concave and convex cuts. However, it is far better at concave shapes, making it a good option when carving projects like bowls. It is also good for curved shapes; however, the details are not as precise as concave ones.
The TURBO Plane also has a safety feature that doesn’t allow it to be used for edge cuts. However, it is possible to approximate the cuts by angling the blade. Despite this, if you’re looking for edge cuts, you’re better serves with another disc. It is, however, useful for planing, scooping, and rounding cuts as well.
This disc is an especially useful choice if you’re looking for a finessed finish. It doesn’t scratch the wood as much as other wheels do, leaving it smoother, with minimal sanding required. It is effective on both hardwoods and softwoods, though it is better for hardwoods.
The biggest drawback when it comes to this disc is the price. It is much more expensive than the other offerings on this list and is not always accessible if you’re on a budget. However, it does offer very smooth cuts and robust safety features. This makes it an effective choice for beginners who don’t mind spending a little more than with the Kutzall Extreme Shaping Disc.
If appropriately used, angle grinders are incredibly useful at working wood quickly. However, like all power tools, they do come with safety warnings.
It is far more common to suffer from woodworking accidents when working at home than on a professional job site. This is because job sites have robust safety precautions that you may not take at home.
To ensure safety, a few standard precautions should always be taken. These include always wearing heavy gloves when working with angle grinders. The sharp blades running at a high velocity can easily tear through both the skin and lighter gloves.
Furthermore, always wear a face-shield or mask when working with an angle grinder. Other protective equipment to keep on hand includes safety goggles and ear protection.
Angle grinders are an efficient way to carve, shape, and sand wood, all with a single tool. Choosing the right disc for your project-type and experience level is key to ensuring that your project comes out as well crafted as possible.
Though there are various discs available on the market, these are some of the best when it comes to carving and shaping wood.